You might be asking why I’m writing to you; I just want you to know that I admire your courage.
Five years ago, my mother was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. I accompanied her to an adoration chapel, not knowing that she was carrying a big revelation that would later on have a big impact on the family. When she came out, she was crying; I asked her why, but she didn’t respond.
When we reached the gate of our village, she told me something. “Look after your siblings.” At that moment, my heart broke. I knew something was wrong. Later that night, she called me and my three other siblings together. “My doctor said I have breast cancer.” We all immediately started to cry.
She didn’t cry, probably because she exhausted all of her tears while in the chapel. She just told us to love each other and be strong no matter what happens.
When my mother started her chemotherapy, I noticed that she became grumpier and had difficulties hearing. I was also a short-tempered son at times, always mad when we had a misunderstanding.
A couple of months after her diagnosis, my Mama had her left breast removed to prevent the spread of the cancer cells. “I’m less of a woman now,” Mama said, explaining that breasts for her were the most important feature of a woman. It was where I got nutrition and felt the warmth during the earliest times of my life. I didn’t know what to say, actually, but I wanted her to know that losing one or both of her breasts didn’t make her less of a woman. You are and will always be beautiful.
During Mama’s usual hospital rounds, she would meet her “classmates.” She would hear their stories. One time, one of the ladies left the group; the others told Mama that their classmate won her battle. You too might find a newfound friend in the presence of other patients. It’s this connection that fosters hope. There are Facebook groups and communities ready to help you as well.
As a son I can only imagine the physical and emotional pain breast cancer brings. It’s true that breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, and it’s the second leading cause of death among women. But I want you to know that you are a beacon of hope for me, for your family, and for everyone else. But mothers like you are the reason why we’re here. Life wouldn’t be as beautiful without your smile. I just want you to know that you shouldn’t let breast cancer kill your optimism; you should kill it with hope. Breast cancer shouldn’t dictate your life; it’s you who should conquer it with love.
I couldn’t be more excited to see her later this month. It’s been a while. I will shower you with tons of love and kisses. Never forget how proud I am of you. Don’t forget that you’re my inspiration. Don’t forget that I’m with you on this long journey to recovery.
OASIS Breast Cancer Center is open Monday to Friday at 1.30-5.30pm. For more details, please contact OASIS International Hospital at 400 UR OASIS (400 87 62747) or visit them at Building C8, 9 Jiuxianqiao Bei Lu, Chaoyang District 100015 (北京明德医院， 北京市朝阳区酒仙桥北路9号C8栋). You can also scan/extract the QR code.